St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless Lord, until they rest in you.” On Friday, July 12, Paula Ruth Williams passed into her eternal rest in the Lord. Paula Burns Williams was born to Ruth and James Burns Oct. 19, 1945. She is preceded in death by her parents, brothers; Raymond, James and Donald Burns; sister Beverly Burns Oquist and husband Robert Williams. She is survived by her sisters Patricia Burns Guido, of Illinois and Rosemary Burns Peterson, of Wickenburg and many adoring nieces, nephews and loving friends.
Paula lived and worked in Wickenburg in the 1980s. During that time she worked as an assistant manager of the Yellow Front chain store; then as a nursing assistant in the Wickenburg Nursing Home. She was hired as a nursing assistant at the Del Webb Hospital Rehabilitation Unit, where she was promoted to be the activities director. This was the area that gave her joy and much satisfaction. She moved from Wickenburg to Peoria in the late 1990s and continued to be an activities director for the Court Memory Care Unit in Peoria and retired as activities director from the Rock Creek at Park Memory Care Unit in Sun City West. Upon retirement she sold her home and moved closer to her sister Patricia.
One word to describe the character of Paula Williams would be unselfish. She truly lived in service to others. Paula more than once opened her home to family members and friends whose lives were in crisis and needed respite. She was a multi-talented woman. She could fix tractors and Zamboni ice resurfacers. Her quick humorous wit kept her coworkers, friends and family laughing. Always smiling, joking and positive, Paula could change anyone’s bad day into a great one. Her life was not without struggles and challenges, but she met each day with renewed hope and resilience to make the day better for herself and all those around her.
During the last 10 plus years, Paula and her sisters, Pat and Rosemary would organize the Burns All Girl Reunions. Each year the female members of the Burns family and extended family would travel to a vacation destination and for a few days enjoy silly moments, long talks and tons of fun. Memories of Paula Ruth Burns Williams flood the mind and heart. She will be missed.
A mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Wickenburg on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. with internment in the St. Anthony of Padua Columbarium. There will be a light luncheon following the mass in the parish social hall.